Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Keeping Your Homeless Shelter

As you may have read before, I am currently staying in a shelter called "The Tent".    It actually is a tent, a very large tent.   The size and kind that you'd expect to be used in an industry convention.  It is rectangular with rounded ends.   I added a photo of it a few posts back.

As with all shelters I've spent time in, I am spending as little time as possible in the place.    There is a curfew.  Everyone staying in the tent must be in their racks by 8pm.    At 8pm the gates are shut and a member of the administration walks though tent looking for any empty racks.  (racks = metal bunk beds).  I make a point of returning to the tent between 7 - 7:30pm.   If a person is not at his bed, then he's rolled out - meaning they roll up all his possessions, through them into a couple of trash bags, and then take his stuff to a storage shed.   Then someone is chosen from those standing outside the gate, and who want to get in, and they get that newly emptied bed.

The administration does not mess around with this.  Just last night, the guy in the bed next to mine had to make a run to the portajohn, and bed check happened while he was still in there.   When he got back to his bed, admin showed up at the same time, with trash bags in hand.  He had to do some quick explaining to keep them from rolling him up.   Have no doubt, admin can and will roll a person out for any offense, even one that seems slight, if you catch them at the wrong time.    As for a "homeless survival tip" let me remind everyone, that when you stay in a shelter of any kind, you have to play it cool.   At some point, you may feel that someone has offended you, someone in admin, or another homeless person, the important thing is to not freak out, don't blow up, don't get mad.   Any outburst you make, any threat, any display of anger, could get you thrown out.   Here, if you're really messed up, you'll get "DNR" written next to your name in the log - that stands for "Do Not Return."